Installing NetBSD 6.1.5 Sparc on Qemu

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File:SPARC NetBSD 6.1.5 on Qemu 2.2.0.png
NetBSD 6.1.5 Sparc32 on Qemu

As of Qemu 0.14.0 you can actually install NetBSD onto the emulated Sparc32, by directly loading the kernel, and with Qemu 2.2.0 it's possible to install using the bundled OpenBIOS. Installation is pretty straight forward with only a few caveats.

First I found that using a VMDK or QCOW2 was incredibly slow. So I HIGHLY recommend using a raw disk image.

qemu-img.exe create -f raw netbsd-615-sparc32.raw 2G

With the disk image in hand, the next issue is that the default terminal doesn't seem to work from the graphical console on install. Switching to the serial console by disabling the graphics adapter, and setting up the serial port so you can telnet into it with a proper terminal emulator (putty) seemed to be the best solution for me. I launch Qemu like this:

qemu-system-sparc.exe -cdrom NetBSD-6.1.5-sparc.iso -net nic -net user -hda netbsd-615-sparc.raw -nographic -serial mon:telnet:127.0.0.1:23,server,wait -boot d

The installation proceeded pretty straight forward, however there are tonnes of esp0 messages printed to the console. Despite this, it did install fine.